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When the Toronto Blue Jays began their roster overhaul during the offseason, things were looking pretty good for the Great White North. The deal with the Marlins landed them an elite shortstop in Jose Reyes, a highly touted starting pitcher in Josh Johnson, a speedy super-utility guy in Emilio Bonifacio and a veteran lefty in Mark Buehrle all for very little. They then brought in Melky Cabrera, R.A. Dickey and Maicer Izturis to add to a fairly strong core group that already consisted of Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, Brett Lawrie, Brandon Morrow and J.P. Arencibia. They immediately went from also-rans to top contender in the American League.
With little or no news coming in from the waiver circuit and even less getting churned out of the MLB rumor mill, it looks like we can just focus on the games now – which is actually a good thing. Sometimes we get so caught up in who’s moving where and which teams are buyers and which are sellers, that we tend to lose a little focus on our own personal team needs. With less than two months to go, it’s more important now than ever to either solidify your place at the top of the standings or figure out your best course of action to get there. In the meantime, we’re going to get to the highlights as Saturday had some outstanding performances.
Don’t be fooled by the calm right now. Sure, most of the dust has settled from the non-waiver trade deadline, but we’re still in for a whole mess of player movement as there’s almost a full month still to go where teams can put a guy through waivers and, if unclaimed, are free to trade him wherever they like. If they do get claimed then the two teams can hash out a deal or the original team just pulls the guy back. Either way, as we’ve already seen Joe Blanton pass through unclaimed and land with the Dodgers and reports of Cliff Lee getting claimed by some mystery team, you have to stay prepared for more movement. If you’ve got a high-priced (in real life) player who’s rumored to be on the move, you’ve got to be prepared if he lands in a new situation.
Since we’re headed into the All Star break, we’re going to keep it relatively quick and simple here. It’s a short fantasy week coming up and lineups aren’t usually set until Thursday morning, so we can just ease into our Sunday, enjoy the games and then worry about everything while we enjoy watching the spectacle that is the Home Run Derby and the All Star Game.
So goes the life of a journeyman slugger in the twilight of his career. Just one week after “saving” Jonathan Papelbon and the Phillies with his record-setting 13th career walk-off home run, Jim Thome was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for a pair of minor league players. Thome, now on his sixth team in the last three years is coming back to the AL and working as a full-time DH which really, is the best thing for him, the Orioles, and for fantasy owners.
So it was Opening Day on Thursday….again. And while some people will mock the fact that MLB pretty much has four different Opening Days, I’m going to relish in it. For me, the offseason drags on for far too long. Sure, football is a nice distraction, but I’ll take a heated pitcher’s duel for nine innings any day. And that’s exactly what we saw on Thursday – outstanding pitcher’s duels. Roy Halladay squaring off against Erik Bedard, John Lester versus Justin Verlander, Johan Santana against Tommy Hanson, and Stephen Strasburg taking on Ryan Dempster. Some of the other matchups were good, but the show that these eight pitchers put on the other day was top notch. Maybe some of the offenses each guy faced were a tad anemic (yes, Pittsburgh, I’m looking in your direction), but overall, you have to love watching a guy standing on the hill pulling strings on pitches left and right, making hitters look just plain silly in the batter’s box.
Happy Labor Day everyone, and as we say goodbye to summer, it is important to remember not to say goodbye to your fantasy baseball team as we roll through the last month of the season. Tonight we have a couple of returning players, one young one that I have all the hopes in the world for to finish the year strongly, the other is an older player that I gave up on long ago and took a lot of grief over my rankings of him before the season started. We have news on a couple of the more exciting young players in the majors, as well as an injury not for the Red Sox. But there is so much more than that as we come into the home stretch of the season so please don't miss Rounding The Bases.
Welcome to the very special Hurricane Irene Edition of the Tuesday Top Ten. Just days after many in the northeast felt the rumble from the earthquake, we were subjected to Hurricane Irene and all of its aftermath. Before you start thinking the end of the world is near because of all these natural disasters, just remember that Adam Dunn and Mark Reynolds both struck out three times since you began reading this article, so all is right in the world again. Now, without further adieu, here is this week’s edition of the Tuesday Top Ten fantasy baseball headlines for August 30, 2011.
Happy Saturday everybody, time to sit down and take in another day in fantasy baseball as the standings are likely starting to show the cream of the crop by now. Tonight we have the first talk about the last great prospect in the minor leagues, and a post hype prospect who is trying to stay healthy and figure things out. We have good news on a scary situation in Colorado, and bad news on one of 2011's biggest surprises on the mound. I also give you a couple of sleeper names for pitchers next season, a young man who made his major league debut, and another pitcher who made his debut for his new team. One more day in the fantasy baseball week, and now is a great time to make the appropriate moves to try to steal this week's matchup from your opponent. So sit back, relax, pop a cold one, and enjoy Rounding The Bas